Summary of Inside Knowledge

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  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Inspiring


Women’s leadership coach Alison Temperley addresses unconscious bias and gender inequities in professional service firms. Even in firms that claim to be meritocracies, women don’t advance as quickly as their male counterparts. Temperley advises women to be more vocal, to express how their contributions matter and to advocate for promotion. Although the book’s subtitle positions her overview as niche advice for women in professional firms, women in many fields will find her counsel applicable.

About the Author

Alison Temperley applies her 30-plus years of professional service firm experience to coaching female accountants, lawyers and consultants. She leads the design, delivery and coaching of global women’s leadership programs for Linklaters and Allen & Overy, both international law firms, and co-leads their global program.



Getting Started

Whether you work in law, accounting, medicine, consulting, or another professional service area, consider what you offer your firm. Many women underestimate their talents. Run through some self-analysis to identify what you contribute and what you want. Where do you hope to be in three years? What aspects of your life do you want to keep or discard? What information do you need to move forward? Analyze not only what you want, but also how to get there, including professional assignments and remuneration. Identify the factors that keep you grounded, such as personal support, exercise and leisure activities.

Put to rest the widely held view that women are less ambitious than men. Women are only less outwardly ambitious, while men state their ambitions succinctly and unequivocally. Males apply for a promotion when they have only 60% of the job requirements. Women worry about being seen as “too ambitious” and wrongly assume their superiors will notice their hard work. Women in professional service firms either can keep their heads down and work long hours hoping for a promotion or can actively manage their careers, including stating their...

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